What do I have in common with a curmudgeonly Yorkshire widow? And, no, I am not referring to character traits.
Nora is clearly a woman who has issues with her tights, as do I apparently. I am not sure what has happened, but I am currently sporting a definite Nora Batty look with my running tights: not attractive and garnering sniggers from daughters and husband. Have I changed or have the tights simply lost their elasticity? The answer is probably a bit of both.
Like many women I have a somewhat warped body image – or so my daughters tell me. A rather chubby and barrel-like childhood; the comment about my heavy thighs made by mother in my teenage years; the ‘baby belly’ (which will never entirely disappear regardless of how much core work I do); and the image crushing Nike experience when I first started running and found that I was a ‘large’; have all contributed. I have a penchant for loose fitting, over sized kit. It took me several years to progress from running in loose ‘joggies’, to tights (those heavy thighs), and the move to (baggy) shorts was only prompted by a particularly warm summer.
A recent bra fitting revealed that I am between 2 and 4 inches smaller round the back than I thought! As I read the label on my newly acquired Skins tights I realised that I had technically bought them a size too big. It did not feel that way as I pulled them on. I was both impressed by the svelte wrinkle free profile, but also concerned by how tight they felt. Could I really wear something that tight, or worse, even tighter? Yes, I know, they are compression tights, but that old thigh issue takes some considerable effort to suppress.
Things are going to have to change. In Antarctica I will be wearing 3 layers; base, mid and outer shell. The base layer and mid layers are going to have to be close fitting and snug; partly for insulation but also for moisture management. I will have to be warm, but not too warm, and sweat will probably be my biggest enemy, more so than the -20C temperature. If I get too warm and sweat then, cool down, there is the risk of clothing freezing or freezing to me and frostbite. Likewise, if clothing to too loose the freezing air gets in. It will be a precarious balance that properly fitting clothing will help me to manage.
I am not the slimmest of individuals; I have a few wobbly bits and could probably do with a few less glasses of wine and a bit less cheese and cream in my diet; but neither am I as large as I tend to think. In fact I am pretty average. So, I just need to rationalise this, make that leap of faith, and start wearing the size that I know I am as opposed to the size I think I am. Not care if there is the odd lump or bump showing, and hopefully remain frostbite free.